"Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air and deep beneath the rolling waves in labyrinths of coral caves; the echo of a distant time came willowing across the sand and everything is green and submarine"

Pink Floyd

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reading Comprehension 1

1. The selected building is the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro

The Proximity Hotel displays vernacular characteristics in that the building is modeled after a cotton mill from the 1800’s. Yet high-style is still present within the commodity of space provided. Ceilings within the lounge become cathedral like to expand the illusion of increased open space. Steel I beam metal framing composes firmness within the structure and is displayed unhidden throughout the structure to the delight of the occupant. Upward lighting is provided in the halls and the steel beams are painted black to resemble a ceiling. The color scheme and low lit traversed areas resemble Gothic architecture. However the rooms are painted white with natural lighting to provide adequate illumination. Perhaps this is the delight able purpose; to define contrast between clear bright living space and dark dim traversable hallways. The bright natural ending is justified by the dark journey. Perhaps that is the commodity of a hotel as whole; to provide a pleasant delight and clear mind at the end of a difficult tiresome journey.

2. Rose swirls pattern

The Motif of the pattern with roses and swirls is a link to the natural world of regeneration. This piece represents the spirit of growth. The small speckled dots could represent the falling rain on the rose bush. The blue/green color of the background could represent the color water. The swirl of white mist may represent the magic of growth and bloom presented upon the rose by life giving hydration. The blooming of the red rose may represent the feminine act of birthing life. Given the delicacy of the design it seems only suitable that the design be may presented upon silk. Silk originated in China around 3000BC. In early culture a symbol was used as a reminder of a positive emotion or good luck.

3. Seperation of spaces

The separation of space is based around stress tolerance. Stress tolerance is rooted in the responsibilities one takes on within society. As population increases so do the responsibilities to be an active person within society. These responsibilities cause aggression to compound and increase stress. As more aggressive dominant personalities emerge the natural defensive response is to increase personal space for protection. Another theory is the ownership of personal space. More possesive space is a display of hierarchy. Also more responsibility means more to actively keep track of and more tools are needed for this. In order to maneuver these tools in a reasonable fashion more space is required. This is evident in American culture. The expansion between the tight public communes in the 1970’s and private individuality in present times is evident within architecture. When the Ferguson auditorium was designed in the 70’s the attitude of the time was much different. The time was much more of cooperative sharing. The personal spaces needed not to be so large in a communal space. As the times have changed more mechanisms have arisen and more protective operating space is required. The average person has become accustomed to this space and when presented with a lesser area may feel restrained.

Frank Lloyd Wright "Zimmerman House"

4. Architecture of happiness

People become accustomed to commodity of the space they occupy on a regular basis. However some people don’t. Usually a person with an expansive ambitious persona will continue to lust forward for something more and will never be satisfied. It is the responsibility of an architect to bridge the gap between ordinary satisfaction and ambition. If this is to be done properly the designer must create delight for the resident and a sense of excitement that erupts every time the person steps into the room. Frank Lloyd Wright did this well with well proportioned geometry; and expanding and contracting spaces as one moved through the structure. Well designed geometry provides a sense of clean organization. Traversing one way causes a certain delight and coming back the opposite way is completely different. However the occupant must always appreciate the commodity. The movement of commodity must remain exciting upon every entrance into the defined space. The only way to provide a continuous delight able experience is to merge the workings of asymmetry and symmetry together to form shapes that are always pleasing to study. This is a sense of balance that falls over the edge at the same time. Every angle of an approaching view must be a masterpiece of design. This view is like artwork that you long to return to and can sit and contemplate for hours. “It seems reasonable to suppose that people will posses some of the qualities of the building they are drawn to.” Happiness can be created by architecture. The kind of happiness is what matters. Is it a sense of tranquil lucidity or fanatic excitement? It depends upon the inhabitant. Whether it will lose its appeal over time rely upon environmental factors. If the happiness is peace of mind then perfect satisfaction can be created.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Hidden Dimension

The Hidden Dimension

The point was made that speech and language define cultural norms; and even reach out to influence the structure of living. This is evident in Chinese calligraphy. It is thought that the calligraphic brush stroke defines the essence of one’s Chi or spirit. Ancient hieroglyphs define this thought as well. In the early temples of Taoist study the brush stroke was practiced again and again to perfection. Much like the linkage between Taoist Tai Chi movements to connect health with the natural world, so was the stroke of the brush to define the inner enlightenment of the calligrapher’s Chi. This theory is evident in bamboo artistic calligraphy. All bamboo is the same picture but the difference is the stroke of the brush and the leaf pattern. Each artist has a different firmness and texture to their stroke. This defines the essence of the artist at the time of the calligraphy. The complexity of leaf arrangement can represent an anxiety or stress and the shape of leaf to define personality as heavy or light.

These same strokes are evident in hieroglyphic calligraphy. A hieroglyph is a defining picture that must capture a thought or shape. The ending of each calligraphic stroke turns slightly upward to create the tail and end the stroke without inkblot. Early Chinese architecture has the same distinction. The roof overhang also lifts upward as the hieroglyphic stroke does. Firmness and commodity of the building resemble certain stroke patterns as well. Which came first the hieroglyph or the structure? They both resemble each other and they have characteristics of the bamboo plant. Each calligraphic image has its own specific pronunciation of sound to vocalize the image. So if architecture is calligraphy then language is architecture. The linkage presents itself between the natural world, structure and the human spirit.

Possibly the best artist was the best architect. Much like early American cabinet makers were also the builders of houses. The thought process is defined in every art including architecture.